STUDENTS were urged to keep their eyes on the prize, make smart choices and never be afraid to dream by a British Olympian who joined them in their celebrations.

Olympic, European, World and Commonwealth swimmer Chris Cook spoke to a packed hall of students and parents at Haughton Academy, Darlington, for a glittering annual Year 7 and 8 awards ceremony.

Before presenting certificates for academic achievement and effort, Mr Cook said: “I had a dream when I was at school to one day represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

“Friends laughed at me and said no one from South Shields goes to the Olympics, but my granddad told me if you dream big and start small anything is possible.

“I trained whenever I could, worked as hard as I could and sacrificed a lot to chase that dream and it happened. So chase your own dreams and magical things could be waiting for you.”

Prizes were handed out in a range of subjects, from maths to media and science to Spanish, alongside the Year 7 Head of Year Inspirational Star Award and the Year 8 Rising Star Award, as pupils were recognised for their hard work and dedication to their studies.

Haughton Academy principal Jonathan Lumb added: “These awards are the highlight of the year and an opportunity to stop, look back and reflect on all of our pupils’ successes.

“We tell our students if they have high values, give 100 per cent effort, be on time, on side and on task they will be successful.”

Award Winners Years 7 & 8 

Art – Year 7 Achievement: Freya Howitson-Morley, Effort: Samuel Piers,
Year 8 Achievement: Lauren Austen Effort: Charlie Crang;

Computing & IT – Year 7 Achievement: Tyler Bell, Effort: Felicity Neal,
Year 8 Achievement: Eleanor Dallin, Effort: Nicole Leonard;

Design Technology – Year 7 Achievement: Emily Bell: Anthony Raimondi,
Year 8 Achievement: Harriett Crawford, Effort: Mia Wetherill;

English – Year 7 Achievement: Annabelle Foulds, Effort: Shane Briddon,
Year 8 Achievement: Megan Adamson, Effort: Charis Bates;

Food – Year 7 Achievement: Lola Robinson, Effort: Bobby Wilson,
Year 8 Achievement: Alisha Colquhoun  Effort: Bailey Cooper;

French – Year 7 Achievement: Ishaq Rahman, Effort: Jessica Barber, Year 8 Achievement: Rachel Lambton, Effort: Katie Kaewbuakan;

Geography – Year 7 Achievement: Emily Pace, Effort:  Sami Ali,
Year 8 Achievement: Ruby Yousef, Effort: Christopher Walters;

History – Year 7 Achievement: Keira Brown, Effort: Harrison Scott,
Year 8 Achievement: Rebekah Wood, Effort: Lauren Bennett;

Maths – Year 7 Achievement: Ricky Chen, Effort: Leon Condon,
Year 8 Achievement: Jake Mason, Effort: Keisha Ainslie;

Music – Year 7 Achievement: Holly Smith-Burns, Effort: Aiya Hind-Hajoui,
Year 8 Achievement: Fern Crang, Effort: Merlin Towers;

Religious Education – Year 7 Achievement: Tom Kipling, Effort: Jamie Place,
Year 8 Achievement: Harvey Parkin, Effort: Louisa Beal;

Science – Year 7 Achievement: Katie Hall, Effort: Shelby Wellock,
Year 8 Achievement: Paige Vairy, Effort: Jack Middleton;

Spanish – Year 7 Achievement: Gagandeep Bura, Effort: Aimee Cassidy,
Year 8 Achievement: Jorja Stewart, Effort: Harvey Bains;

Year Group awards – Year 7 Annabelle Foulds, Gabriel Kaddoura,
Year 8 William Watt, Veronica Baillie.